1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
I forget who uses the term "keep your eyes on the prize" but to my estimation that's a bit selfish. Surely there has to be more than just getting to heaven and enjoying ourselves. Everyone seems to have a different idea of what heaven will be like. In Revelation 21:18 we read
"And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass."
So, heaven will be pure gold? At first glance this seems a bit of a contradiction because gold is an earthly treasure and we are taught that we shouldn't put our faith in earthly treasures. Songs have been written about walking the streets paved with gold. Still, we have to remember that heaven will not be like anything we can actually describe with our limited knowledge. I've experienced the task of trying to describe something fantastic to a friend and finding out that my words just couldn't do it. Being there is the only way to truly understand. The gold in heaven that John described was clear, see- through glass. I don't know any gold that you can see through, so even John was having a hard time describing heaven.
Still, I like this analogy of running a race for the prize set before us. Whatever heaven is like, I'm sure it's the very best because that is all God wants for us... the very best.
Now don't get confused... the treasure is not me. :) Look behind me and you will see a little warrior statue. I move it around from room to room like I do many of my decorative things but this little statue means more to me than what most people think of.
China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huagn, in search of immortality over 2,200 years ago ordered the construction of a vast army of 8,000 life-sized Terra Cotta warriors. I think at some point in all our human lives we begin to think of how short our time on Earth really is. My little decorative statue reminds me that no matter how much we as human being try to extend our lives or make them more than what God has intended them to be, we will fail. Living eternally is only offered to us by God and it's good to be reminded of that every day.